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Formula 1 British GP

How Haas has taken a McLaren direction with its British GP F1 upgrades

Haas unveils an upgrades package at Silverstone with strong McLaren inspirations spotted

Haas has been one of the surprises of the Formula 1 midfield this year as its VF-24 has proved to be a regular points scorer – defying the team’s pre-season pessimism.

But perhaps more encouraging than the step the team has made in producing a car that does not suffer excessively from tyre degradation, is the fact that its upgrades seem to be working.

Having had trouble in the past with new developments not producing a step forward, it has been a different story this year.

A first package that arrived in China did what it was supposed to, and now at the British GP it has brought another extensive array of parts that, based on first practice, appear to have given it another boost.

The centrepiece to the alterations is a shift in sidepod inlet design, as the team abandons the underbite arrangement (right, below).

However, rather interestingly the team has opted for overbite and a more conventional hooped inlet (left, below).

This is more akin to the solution seen on the McLaren MCL38, instead of following Ferrari’s lead with a P-shaped inlet, which has been its tendency in the past.

As with all of the other teams that have made this switch earlier in the season, it’s likely that Haas has had to reorganise the layout of the internal components in order to get the best from them.

This means revisions from a cooling perspective and aerodynamically, albeit Haas has probably been far less radical in its approach to this.

Haas VF-24 technical detail
Haas F1 Team VF-24 mirror

The new layout also results in revisions to the rest of the sidepod’s bodywork, including the undercut and beltline, although the general shape of the bodywork remains largely the same.

There is scope for the panel on the upper surface of the sidepod to be exchanged for one with additional louvres, should it need more headroom for cooling in the upcoming races.

Allied to these alterations, the team has also reworked its floor design, not only in terms of the shape and volume of the underfloor, but also in terms of the alignment of the floor fences and geometry of the edge wing.

However, while there’s no real conceptual change to the overall shape of the edge wing, it is now wider than before, in order to align with the pinch point changes that have been made to the floor alongside.

Haas VF-24 sidepod and floor comparison

Haas VF-24 sidepod and floor comparison

Photo by: Uncredited

Those geometrical alterations also mean that the upturned section at the front of the edge wing and their accompanying strakes have also been widened and will take advantage of the adjustments made to the floor upstream.

There’s also a change to the position of the outboard wing mirror support, as it now sits further inboard to complement the changes made to the sidepod’s bodywork above the inlet.

The team had its cars fitted with the two different packages during FP1, pictured above, as it assessed the merits of the updates in a back-to-back comparison.

Team principal Ayao Komatsu said there was every indication the changes should help the squad in its bid to continue bringing home the points.

“As long as things don't go backwards, we should be able to fight for points,” he said. “If we are there all the time and if we execute a good race, we've got a chance to be a P9, P10. So that's what we're aiming for.”

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